Beginning back in 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has required commercial drone pilots to secure a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate, aka drone license, before flying. A step in securing this license, is passing a 60-item knowledge test. This can seem overwhelming, but with a few tips and tricks and some dedicated study time, you can be flying in no time.
Before you test… According to the FAA, to be eligible to get your Remote Pilot Certificate, you must:
Be at least 16 years old.
Be able to read, write, speak and understand English.
Be in a physical and mental condition to safely fly a UAS.
Find Part 107 study materials that work for you.
There are dozens of study materials available online for the Part 107 license. Many courses are provided by reputable training shops and may also offer in-person training. If you are looking for a free and easy resource, the FAA released a handful of free resources – find everything here.
PRO TIP: Based on information from pilots who have taken the test, more than a third of the questions cover aircraft operations. Be sure you are knowledgeable on this topic including how to read aeronautical charts, maps, symbols and figures! The Airman Knowledge Supplement for Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, Remote Pilot and Private Pilot is a great resource!
PRO TIP 2: The next most asked questions cover weather. A large handful of questions cover how to handle UAS operations in different weather conditions. For this, the Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Airman Certification Standards is a great resource!
Sample, sample, sample!
Take as many practice tests as you feel comfortable with before taking the actual test. This will get you prepared for the type of question, length of the exam, set-up and more.
What can you bring with you?
Many hopeful pilots do not realize you are allowed to bring a calculator with you to the exam! Along with a calculator, test administrators will provide you with a pencil and scratch paper.
PRO TIP: Be sure your name is EXACTLY as it appears on your driver’s license when you sign up for the exam. This does include your middle name.
Believe it or not, currently, there is not a practical flight test part of the exam. This means, that you can actually take and pass the Part 107 exam without having flown a drone.
It’s good to know that after taking a passing the Part 107 exam, your certificate is good for 24 months. You will need to pass a Recurrent Knowledge Test every 24 months to keep your certificate in good standing with the FAA.
For a great list of questions regarding the Part 107 Certificate Testing, please see the following article from UAV Coach: Your Part 107 Questions Answered.